13 Personnel wound up being UCLA most successful group with regular usage at 58% successful. Between that success rate, Frye’s promotion to OC, and plenty of returning versatile TEs (Jordan Wilson, Devin Asiasi, and others), we can expect this group to stay relevant for at least 2019. Personnel groups with two or three TEs (12 and 13) are a massive run tell (78% run in 222 appearances of 12 and 13), but it doesn’t matter that defense knows what’s coming. I would like to see 2 RB groups climb in usage next year due to the appeal of Kelley/Irby thunder matched up with Allen lightning. The 2 RB stuff is definitely in the playbook and got cameos this year (See the 21 and 22 lines in the table).
A driving UCLA offensive philosophy seems to be lots of flexible weekly adaptation to opposing defense strength and scheme. The Blur certainly games planned for opponents and used weekly surprises, but was generally imposing its will more than tailoring to what defenses gave.
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This year UCLA saw wild swings in the run/pass balance, personnel groups, trendy tactics, and formations (eg “doubles tight” and “trips bunch tight” – I broke down tight formations in detail here) week to week. I see this as a positive development to counter the notion of Chip’s inflexible approach in the NFL as summarized by the Ringer.
The drawback here is all that breadth and variation in a year 0 leads to a lack of depth and less than stellar execution with college practice limitations. Chip was quoted this year referencing the saying “You don’t rep it until you get it right, you rep it until you can’t get it wrong”. We all went berserk about how Wooden-esque that was. While he may have been talking about more fundamental skills, they certainly opened themselves up to a lot of botched execution by installing and dumping new tactics every week without mastery of the core.
Chip will certainly continue the constant adaptation (more borrowing from around the sport than true innovation) moving forward. The surprises should get better executed as the entire program gains continuity, and can devote more practice time to those single-game wrinkles.